It is an old breed developed in France, whose name comes from the German word "puddeln" which means "to dive into water". At first, it was used for hunting in swamps and water then, it became a companion and show dog.
It is a small to medium-sized dog. The head is long and delicate. The skull has the same length as the muzzle and a moderated stop. The muzzle is fine and flat with a black or dark red nose depending on the coat's colour. The eyes are egg-shaped, set apart and dark. The ears are rather long, drooping and covered with long, rich, wavy hair. The tail is docked and kept high. The coat can either be curly or corded. For the first variety the hair is rich, fine, woolly, curly and flexible forming equal loops. The corded hair variety (less common), has soft, woolly and tight hair, forming characteristic fringes which are equal and have a minimum of 20 cm. The longer they are the more appreciated they are. The coat can be: white, brown, grey or peach-coloured.
It is an intelligent, jolly, playful, sensitive and eager to learn dog. It is obedient and devoted to its master. It gets along with children but is cautious and watchful with strangers. It also gets along well with other dogs and other animals, especially if it was socialized from an early age.
The fur of this companion dog must be trimmed carefully by a specialist who will leave long hair on the head, ears and feet. This dog doesn't shed. It will be washed regularly and the ears will be kept clean to avoid getting infected. The fur of the exhibition dog requires a much more careful and expensive grooming. It can have a traditional haircut in more than 50 variants. Although it has a decorative look, it derives from the utilitarian function of the fur, that is cut in such a way to help it swim easier and faster and to protect it from the cold. The two hair tufts on the back help preventing rheumatism and the one on the tip of the tail helps locating the dog under water.
It is a dog that can adapt to any living conditions. It has a rather high level of activity and is recommended for active people. It likes long walks, swimming, practicing sports (flyball, agility competitions). It needs socialization and training.
This dog is very easy to train because it is very intelligent, learns easily and is eager to learn. With a gentle but consistent training, it will learn everything it is required.
It is a devoted and wanted companion dog.